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Vancouver, BC: Reimagining Church, Land & Community

March 12 @ 7:00 pm March 13 @ 9:30 pm

An invitation to dialogue and action, a two-day gathering

This is an open invitation to anyone keen to learn, share and explore collaboration, as we work to re-imagine church properties for urban flourishing, Indigenous-settler reconciliation, community justice and services, and affordable and supportive housing.

Together we want to change the narrative of decline around Canada’s church lands and properties, into storylines about redeveloping church assets for flourishing neighbourhoods and urban well being.

Thousands of churches closed in Canada over the last 10 years; many disappearing to the private market. In the next 10 years many more churches will redevelop, sell or close. Some church properties are underutilized; other congregations are awakening to possibilities for justice and partnership within their neighbourhoods. Our coalition’s calling is to enrich the spiritual and social urban commons, with other stakeholders – urban organizations, municipal planners, Indigenous groups, non-profits, artists, housing agencies. So how might we redevelop these urban spiritual spaces with their existing assets of bricks, mortar, and land?

Public Lecture Tuesday, March 12

Redevelopment and Reconciliation: An Indigenous and Settler Perspective

Adrian Jacobs & Jason McKinney

Treaty is a living relationship on the land built on the desire for the deep relationship of

peace that comes from peer respect. Haudenosaunee Wampum Belts encoded these

original covenantal values and we mistreat the earth and one another when we stray

from these ideals. As various pressures force churches across the country to reconsider

their land and building assets, it is also an opportunity to think more deeply and

theologically about our relationships on and to the land. For the non-Indigenous church,

the renewal and repair of these relationships – with the land and with Indigenous

communities – is perhaps the most important pre-development work we can do. It is

time to polish the tarnished silver of relationship and rebuild a better future on the land.

Adrian Jacobs is Ganosono (Deer Lodge) of the Turtle Clan, Cayuga Nation of the Six

Nations Haudenosaunee Community along the Grand River, Southern Ontario. He is

the father of three boys and two girls and the grandfather of three grandsons and a

granddaughter. Adrian grew up in the Handsome Lake Longhouse religion at Six

Nations and came to Christian faith at twenty years of age. He has engaged in a long

journey of fully embracing his Indigenous heritage as a follower of Christ. His family has

a long history of resistance to colonial land theft and cultural repression. He works with

Rick Hill, a Haudenosaunee historian and knowledge keeper, in an ongoing dialogue

about a Spiritual Covenant with Churches as a practical response to colonial land

injustice. An educator and networker, Adrian connects with Indigenous elders, leaders,

and communities in Canada and internationally to foster Indigenous flourishing.

Rev. Dr. Jason McKinney is a settler of English, German, Irish and Scandinavian

descent living and working on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe and the

Haudenosaunee. Based in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Jason is a

theological educator and an Anglican priest. He serves a multiracial congregation in

Parkdale, where he has also been part of a local movement to ensure community

well-being against the pressures of gentrification. He was a member of the first

community-elected board of The Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust. Jason holds a

PhD from the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. He has

taught at Trinity College’s Faculty of Divinity and is currently on a research contract with

Tyndale Seminary, where he is working with a team of researchers exploring new

models of theological education.

About the Organizers

This gathering is brought to you by The Canadian Coalition of Re-Imagining Church, Land and Community.

In Spring 2023 thirty Canadian practitioners gathered for an intense exploration of our common interests and work in reimagining of church properties. We are non-profit and for-profit developers, denominational property stewards, theologians, community practitioners, and church leaders. Five priorities emerged from our dialogue:

1) Association: the group is solidly in favour of forming an coalition or network.

2) Theology: there is a common hunger for deeper theological foundations to our work.

3) Indigenous-settler reconciliation: we are inviting Adrian Jacobs and other elders to help us weave this thread indelibly throughout church land reimaginings.

4) Research: our group strongly supports development of research and curriculum projects to support this sector.

5) More gathering: we want to meet again, in person.

The network is growing. This ReImagining coalition plans to gather annually. Each annual gathering will welcome nation-wide participation, while moving the gatherings across Canada will enrich our learning from local models, partners and case studies.

  • Western: Vancouver, March 12-13, 2024
  • Central: Toronto 2025
  • Maritime: Halifax 2026
2670 Victoria Drive
Vancouver, BC V4N 4L2 Canada
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